Article updated 9/28/18: To omit commentary on the SAD 3 EDUCATION ASSOCIATION v. RSU 3 BOARD OF DIRECTORS et al. Photo courtesy of the Republican Journal.
How much is your time worth?
In 2012, the RSU 3 board of directors voted to replace the double bus route with a new single bus route. This new system saved the district $174,000 out of the $1.5 million transportation budget in fuel, maintenance costs, and employee wages. The new single bus system resulted in students in outlying schools such as Brooks and Monroe arriving earlier and leaving later so that the Mount View complex timings were still accurate.
The repercussions of this change was immediately felt by students who attended Mount View as their time on the bus was increased. Their bus would now have to stop and pick up students going to outlying elementary schools as well as their bus filling up with younger students. Middle and High school students had their start times pushed an hour forward to 8:30 because their starting times now had to be equal to the starting times of the Mount View elementary students. The former RSU 3 transportation director, Raymond Shute, in an interview with the Penbay Pilotnever explicitly commented if the new system was an actual improvement to the old system for the majority of the students in the district.
In the 2018-2019 proposed school budget, the amount of funding the transportation department receives is still $1.5 million. If the district still did the double bus run that $1.5 million would be higher and it would be untruthful to say the single bus run doesn’t save the district a couple hundred thousand out of their budget. But is the money saved by the single run worth more to the time that students spend on their bus? Is it worth the extra amount of time teachers spend unpaid in their classroom watching their students? The question I ask, “How Much Is Your Time Worth?,” isn’t just a question directed to the student, but to the teacher as well.
According to the RSU 3 teacher contract, the in school work hours of a teacher cannot exceed more than 7.5 hours. Now it is understandable that schools set a limit to the amount of time someone works and exception are not entirely uncommon. Without this stipulation teachers would be able to manipulate themselves into working 14 hour days by claiming they were spending the time grading tests or setting up the next day’s activity. This stipulation doesn’t account for the teachers working in the outlying schools who have to work past 7.5 hours supervising students. Something the teachers have to be in attendance for and is also part of their contract.
On September 2014, an agreement was reached to properly compensate the affected employees which ended on April 1, 2018. Today, no new public agreement or action has been taken to properly compensate the employees working later due to the 2012 bus change.
In an attempt to lower costs, the single bus run has resulted in lower bus driver wages and a outlining elementary workers working longer unpaid hours.
How much is their time worth?